Tampa, Fla. – September 1, 2019 – The 2019 Southeast Medal Finals concluded Sunday, September 1, with horses and riders returning to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center to vie for championship titles. The Medal Finals classes kicked off the morning, drawing a competitive field of adult and junior riders to the Lykes Indoor Arena. In the Adult Medal Finals, it was Karie Jane Pearson and Enamored that came out on top to claim the leading title. Addison Reed and Windsor rode away with the Junior Medal Finals win, sponsored by Up Country.
In the Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Finals, the technical eight-obstacle course offered riders the chance to showcase their handiness and adjustability through rollback turns, an in-and-out combination and opportunities to take an inside track. After the first round, Dorian Cieslak led the class riding her own Fellow Van’t Polderhof with a score of 84. Pearson followed close behind with their score of 80. Also in contention for the top spot was the third place rider Jennifer Giraldin riding her own Quesnel with a score of 78.
For the work-off round, the judges elected to challenge riders to a shortened course, asking them to demonstrate rollback turns and showcase their skills over a trot fence. With first place honors up for grabs, Pearson impressed the judges enough to move up into the top spot. Second place was ultimately awarded to Morgan Mulcahy riding her own Centara. Ceislak and Fellow Van’t Polderhof rounded out the top three.
Pearson and Enamored, an 18-year-old Westphalian Warmblood mare, have been paired together for two years. Prior to competing in the equitation divisions, Enamored was a seasoned jumper mount. Pearson recently started competing with the mare in both equitation and hunter divisions, and their transition to the new rings is clearly paying off.
Earlier in the day, the junior riders took center stage for the Junior Medal Finals, sponsored by Up Country. Following a competitive first round, Madison Ryan and Caprio owned by Jai Smith Rezac, sat in the lead with their score of 86. Reed and Windsor, owned by Bailey Tims, sat close behind in second with a score of 85, followed by Paige Moose in third riding her own Quintilus to a score of 83.
The judges invited all riders back to the arena to challenge them over a shortened track. Riders were asked to tackle a course of just four fences with technical rollback turns, as well as a trot fence, and return to the gate showcasing a sitting trot. The second round could lend any of the top three riders the leading title, but ultimately it was Reed that impressed the judges the most to move up and earn first place. Moose and Quintilus would finish the class in second place, with Ryan and Caprio rounding out the top three.
Sunday’s finals concluded the 2019 Southeast Medal Finals. Horses and riders enjoyed a weekend of competition and camaraderie, with many new champions crowned, and those hoping to enter next year have a whole year of qualifying possibilities ahead of them prior to the 2020 Southeast Medal Finals. For more information on the Southeast Medal Finals, please click here.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Karie Jane Pearson – Adult Medal Finals winner
“I’ve had [Enamored] for about two years now and she was my jumper. Now, she does the equitation and hunters and she’s awesome. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what kind of ride she is because she was a jumper, but she’s become such a fabulous equitation horse.”
On the class:
“My rounds were great, she was fabulous in both of them! I was just really trying to be clean and handy for our work off.”
On Southeast Medal Finals:
“Last year, we did the Children’s Medal and we were fourth, so it’s exciting to move up! It feels great to end the weekend here with a win.”
Addison Reed – Junior Medal Finals winner
“He was super good. He was very responsive, he was really good. He was really soft and moved forward when I asked him to and slowed down when I asked him to. He was really adjustable.”
On the class:
“My strategy for the first round was to go in and count a rhythm and make sure I had a good canter going to the first jump. For the work-off, I just practiced memorizing the numbers of the jumps, because I have a hard time remembering them sometimes!”
On winning at Southeast Medal Finals:
“It feels really good, it’s always exciting to win a class like that. [Windsor] was really good! This was my first time at this show, but I came to the grounds for Maclay Regionals last year. It was a great show, it ran really smooth and it was really fun.”